Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Saturday, 20 May 2017

All The Leaves are Falling


Suddenly leaves are changing colour,  and branches  are  looking bareAutumn Leaves May 2017

The Final 6 blocks for the  Freefall QAL with Sandra at

mmm ! quilts 

are finished. How could 2 blocks give me so many problems? I undid 2 rows of stitching so many times, and still the last TWO points did not meet properly.One more row undone, measured, it might have been a smidgen over the correct  2 inch size. Trimmed, and all is well.WHEW, a huge sigh of relief.

The difficult one!!!

The H3 block that gave me some trouble

The final 6, with green and background fabrics reversed, and the last 2 blocks with half and half.

 QAL Freefall final 6 blocks

this is not the final layout , but they are all there.Hooray!!!


QAL Freefall layout, this might be changed again

The top blue half and half will be swapped for a yellow leaf, the lower row green and blue will be  placed on the left, and the top left changed to lower right, ( I think ) Meantime it can sit and play happily on the design wall, and tolerate a visit each day till I am happier with the layout.

Mother’s Day was quiet, until I received an email from Sandy over at

 Upstairs Hobby Room 

to say I was chosen by Rafflecopter, and have won the most amazing book by Carl  Hentsch,…. New York Beauties and Flying Geese.

How wonderful is that, I am sure Sandy heard my words of joy way up North. Many thanks to Sandy, for hosting this, to CT Publishing, and to Carl Hentsch.

Those batiks are going to be looked at, and no doubt added to, for some of these wonderful projects.

The eBook has arrived, and I will be off to the printers to have it printed onto really good quality paper, and spiral bound.


Courtesy of the Internet….

And the winner is...


Jean M.

Do you run giveaways, too? Try Rafflecopter! It's free.


Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Use every colour in the paint box,

and there will always be beauty”

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

An Autumn Day in our Garden


Cherry Trees along the driveway

Come with me as we have a gentle stroll though the flower gardens  and trees.The Cherry blossoms have all gone,and golden/bronze leaves are glorious.

Cherry tree branches and blue skiesthrough the Cherry Tree branches

The ornamental grass has tall feathery flowers, and  sparkles like ice crystals in the sunshine.

Another feathery grass, with flower heads that sprkle in the sunlight

One deep purple snap dragon, all by itself, self seeded in the front garden.

snap dragon, a lonely one that self grew.

One of the many pink Alstromeria plants, a bee is in the centre flower. Buds still show a promise of more to come.

 Alstromeria providing a bee with some food

Last year a dear friend brought me a huge display of Luculia flowers, this is their photo,  and I fell in love with their beauty.So much so, we bought a small shrub. It is frost tender, so all last winter it has been protected, with a huge bucket. The odd leaf was burnt, but now it is thriving, and has stems covered at the end with so many buds.

Luculia flowers

Here  is the small shrub, that can grow to a tall tree in years to come,  hidden from any early frosts, the purple Tibouchina on guard on the left,  a tall handsome tree now, and the graceful red sage  taking its rightful job as a shelter on the right.

Tibouchina, Luculia, and red sage

Closer up, those buds are beautiful already.

Luculia buds close up

The Tibouchina shrub was a birthday gift some years ago.We planted it out in the open, it struggled with any cold morning, so it was moved, nurtured, covered each night in the winter, and now well over 8 feet tall. This is one lingering flower straight out of the Canon Camera.Sunlight and shadow in the afternoon.

Tibouchina close up ,SOOC


Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ The flower bud unfolds, showing so

gradually the hidden  beauty  within”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 1 May 2017

testing #2!!!

owl  reversed with one inch test square
Here it is with a one inch test square.
Testing #1 was deleted, as this one was slightly better. The one inch square is for correct printing size!!! And the owl is for something later in the year, but I needed to know now if it would be printable. It is!!! Thanks for all your comments, I am not that keen on one inch quilting pieces.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

April 25th, 2017, Lest We Forget


Here in New Zealand, April 25th is recognized as Anzac Day,     (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) when services are held nationwide, to remember the servicemen and women who were overseas, who gave their lives, and the ones who returned to tell their stories. The Red Poppy is a symbol of remembrance , and  Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote of the poppy in his second to last poem “ In Flanders Fields”.

John McCrae was born in Guelph, Ontario, on November 30th, 1872, and trained as an artillery man at the  Royal Military College of Canada, at Kingston, Ontario. He  was a resident master of English and Mathematics at the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph in 1894. He then returned to the University of Toronto and  completed his B.A. He later  returned to study medicine on a scholarship.

McCrae was appointed as Medical Officer and Major of the 1st Brigade CFA (Canadian Field Artillery). He treated wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, from a hastily dug, 8 foot by 8 foot bunker dug in the back of the dyke along the Yser Canal about 2 miles north of Ypres. McCrae's friend and former militia pal, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the battle, and his burial inspired the poem,  “In Flanders Fields”

In Flanders Fields


Poppy with morning dew

Quotation of the day

Lest We Forget

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A Few More Blocks…


The QAL Freefall leaves are all falling into place nicely, and the ones on the paler background are all done. Then, I began to do the large ones!!! I had underestimated  the dark green batik by a mile or so… Out came what was my other choice, and some fussy cutting gave me fern curls in each one. Then I needed to match up that paler green, so had to do another block with the original dark green batik .


QAL freefall leaves on  pale background

While I was trying to decide whether another block was needed, Jenny and Robin called in. You can find Jenny here at         Romany Quilting  and see what her project will be after she rolls the dice for another week, or visit Robin at Romany Rambler and look at their fabulous caravan and see where their travels  take them. They are off further North, and I hope they have fine weather, sunshine, no flooding, and a great time with old friends and new ones as well.

Decision made,  I finished off the last one for this fortnight, ironed, and set them out. They are not all trimmed to size, but that will be done pronto . Some variations in the colours, as I had struggled to get them set out neatly, after juggling 2 smaller boards on the cushions!!!

QAL freefall large leaf blocks


QAL large leaf close up

Meantime, my knee is still painful, back on the crutches this morning. We have had some cold mornings, glorious warm sunny days, and the dry firewood is a worthy cause for all those hours earlier on.

Quotation of the day , from Richard P Feynman

“ Nature  uses only the longest threads

to weave her patterns,

so that each small piece of her fabric reveals

the organisation of the entire tapestry”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

8 QAL Freefall leaf blocks all done!!!


Hooray, ( **** Trumpet Call*** )  the first of 25 blocks are done, not trimmed, but I am so happy  with them.

Sandra, over at    mmmquilts ! has this fantastic QAL with another of her wonderful designs, this time it is for “ Freefall QAL” and already I see others have added their links.

I used the freezer paper method to do the actual leaf, drawing the square, then stitching on the lines, with no thread. That makes it so easy to turn back the freezer paper, and line up the outer  side parts, making sure that little dog ears line up. I iron one side piece on one side of the rectangle,  one on the reverse, that way they match up to the leaf sides.  This is OK for batiks, but for one sided cottons,  iron all onto the  wrong side, you need to do two rectangles, to get the 4 pieces needed facing the right way.

Side leaf freezer paper on either side of rectangleLeaf centre on freezer paper and sides cut outSide piece on leaf centre


Here they are!!!  I am so happy.!!! Can you tell???

8 QAL freefall leaf blocks not trimmed yet

We have had some more rain, but the Bay of Plenty is in a State of Emergency, Edgecumbe people who have been evacuated will be wondering what  will happen next. This was on 6th April. Photo courtesy of Internet.

Edgecumbe flood


Some homes need to be demolished, flooded off their foundations, other families have silt through their home, water rushed through in a raging  torrent, 1.5 metres high. They have lost everything.The SPCA has been rescuing animals and pets, going from house to house in inflatable boats or jet boats, wearing wet suits, and carrying pet cages.  Further away,  and here in Edgecumbe,  again today…residents have been told to be ready to evacuate if they hear the fire siren sounding continuously. I feel helpless down here and wish I could help. Maybe just having caring thoughts is the best we can do when so far away.  I feel sad  and guilty to be happy about my 8 blocks when so many families have lost so much.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Trying times need courage and resilience.

That will be when your strength is tested,

not when days are  calm and serene .”

Greetings from Jean.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Freefall QAL, I dithered, I dallied, finally I decided.


Sandra  at          mmm! quilts   (Click on the link to follow…)

is hosting a quilt along, with a delightful pattern of leaves, on a darker leaf and on a paler background fabric. I searched, then I shopped ( more fabric thought Hugh!!!), and finally decided. I hope the rainbow colours will go well with the marble green batik and the paler background.

These are not arranged in any order, but the paler ones will go onto the green,  the intermediate ones onto the half and half blocks, and darker leaves onto the paler background.

Freefall leaves and background fabrics all cut

Life continues, the MRI scan was all clear!!! Hooray, no surgery at the moment, just a cortisone injection, so a lot more pain for that first 24 hours, still using crutches ( just try and balance and use a roller cutter!!!).It must surely improve, and if not with time, then with age.

We have had dull days, then lots of sunshine, the lawn gets mown regularly, the weeds grow, and flowers bloom.

Quotation of the day, from Nelson Mandela

“ May your choices reflect your hopes,

not your fears’”

Greetings from Jean.